Notes & Reviews:
Composed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press and taking Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as his model, Felix Mendelssohn’s immense Symphony No. 2, sub-titled ‘Hymn of Praise’, enjoyed great success following its 1840 première in Leipzig. Using texts from the Lutheran Bible, he created a stirring symphonic cantata in which the whole world unites in a triumphant song to the Heavenly Father. Jun Märkl, whose Naxos recordings have gained high praise, leads an outstanding line-up of artists in this thrilling performance.
"Strong performances from the MDR orchestra and chorus counter Wagner's jealous claim that this was merely a feeble imitation of Beethoven's Ninth." -The Observer
"Märkl's version has many beauties, not least the duet before the final chorus which Ruth Ziesak and Christian Elsner sing with great tenderness...The chorus sing with gusto, and their final hymn of praise is triumphant and exciting." -BBC Music Magazine ****
"The secret...is not to let the inner tension sag...This Jun Märkl does admirably...The solo singing is outstanding...This is a splendid CD of an unfairly neglected and often misunderstood work, and at the attractive price it will be very hard to beat." -International Record Review
"[Märkl] shrewdly judges the balance between dignity and urgency, while the choral singing (with a notably incisive tenor line) is aptly full-blooded without compromising clarity in Mendelssohn's fugal textures...Ziesak and Mojca Erdmann combine attractively in the famous, and oft-maligned, duet "I waited for the Lord", which emerges with freshness and charm." -Gramophone Magazine
"Märkl blows away any Victorian cobwebs with a reading that keeps Mendelssohn's precision scoring firmly on its toes...Those listeners who like their Mendelssohn fleet-footed and light as air should be well satisfied with Märkl's sparkling reading of this wonderful score." -Classic FM Magazine ****
For both performance and recording, this new one surely qualifies for a strong recommendation.
Recording information: MDR-Studio am Augustusplatz, Leipzig (08/26/2008-08/29/2008).
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Works DetailsMendelssohn, Felix : Symphony no 2 in B flat major, Op. 52 "Lobgesang"
- Conductor: Märkl, Jun
- Notes: MDR-Studio am Augustusplatz, Leipzig (08/26/2008-08/29/2008)
- Running Time: 67 min. 12 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Choral
- Written: circa 1840